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Texas Man Who Escaped Mental Facility Caught


Alexander Ervin attends court | Image by NBC DFW

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After a two-week manhunt, a man who ran away from the North Texas State Hospital is now in jail.

Around 6:30 p.m. on July 10, 29-year-old Alexander Ervin was arrested by Austin police, according to a Facebook post by the Vernon Police Department.

The Dallas Express reported last month that Ervin escaped from the mental hospital in Vernon, near the Oklahoma border, on June 26.

Video footage from that night showed Ervin leaving his dormitory and climbing the hospital’s 8-foot security fence around 9:15 p.m. before taking off on foot. Hospital personnel did not realize the man was missing until the following morning.

The man’s mother, Leslie Ervin, told CBS Austin that her son was found at a park near an old apartment she used to own.

“Onlookers were concerned about heat stroke and called police; Lex was peacefully arrested,” she stated. “He asked for new clothes when he got to the jail and told police he had come to Austin looking for me. I’m just so thrilled he’s safe.”

Leslie added that she does not have much information besides that her son is being held at Travis County jail on an “out of county” charge.

She also raised concerns about how Ervin was able to escape the mental facility.

She claimed to have been to the hospital numerous times and observed various security layers, such as locked gates, a 15-foot fence surrounding the facility’s perimeter, and guard towers.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and Vernon Police Department have yet to release additional information on how Ervin managed to escape.

In 2014, Ervin was found not guilty of murder for his father’s death, 58-year-old Ray Scott Ervin, by reason of insanity.

Ervin had a psychotic episode with delusions and paranoia the night he fatally stabbed his father, according to his defense attorneys.

Maxwell Ervin, his brother, testified that Alexander stated that Ray was an imposter. Alexander believed himself to be a trained CIA agent assigned to kill his father. He attacked his father with a pipe wrench and a folding knife.

On the stand, Alexander testified that the attack was in self-defense and did not remember stating his father was an imposter.

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